Need a distraction from the bitterness, Brexit and Trump on your social media?
You should join the Kindness Challenge then.
Dennis Vassallo launched a Facebook page specifically for people to recount stories of kind acts, and encourage others to perform them.
The page, we're pleased to report, seems to have struck a chord - and now has more than 50,000 followers.
This GROUP/PAGE has been set up to escape the arguing, division and meanness that has taken over parts of Facebook and other social media sites. The name of this group is the KINDNESS CHALLENGE.
Vassallo was primarily moved to launch this initiative after the death of his son in 2015.
Dylan, who was 17 when he killed himself, was an altar boy at St. Benedict's Catholic Church of Holmdel in New Jersey.
He had also volunteered in Honduras and served in a soup kitchen and special needs school.
"Dylan was a person of service, benevolence and kindness. He had a wonderful giving spirit," writes Vassallo, who seeks to honour that legacy with the Facebook group.
It got me thinking, in addition to the things we have established and taken part in as a family, and have been blessed by the generosity and support of our family and friends, what simple kind things could we all do for the betterment of our world, society and ultimately our souls.
The thought came, what if we had a kindness challenge? Not to raise money or funds, but to raise awareness and lift up each other and our hearts.
The challenge could be anything you’d like. From something as simple as holding the door for someone, giving a word of support to someone, to much larger acts of kindness.
I was motivated as I stated by the memory of our son Dylan, but also by all the division, rancor and anger I see and read every day on my Facebook page. I like and love all of my friends regardless of their opinions. I don’t like all the anger. It is really disheartening.
I was told a very long time ago that I am either part of the problem or part of the solution. I don’t believe this will be a solution, maybe it can be a tiny step towards treating each other with some love, respect and above all kindness.
The online response has been overwhelming - members join the group every few seconds.
What a beautiful page. There is so much of a need for connection and healing among us. I think what you've done and will continue to inspire people to do is so powerful.
- Sraiv Nosrac
Dennis, God bless you and your family. I am sending you a big hug in hopes it will somehow help in a small way. Thank you for all the kindness you have shown also.
- Diane Siler
Thank you, Dennis. I lost my son to 3 years ago. I would like other sto see this as a take-away that we need to be kinder to one another, and love each other despite any differences we may have. I pray that this becomes real movement.
- Carol Anne Jackson
So yesterday after eating my lunch in the parking lot, an old lady in her 80's or so pulled up behind me and she looked confused. She started to ask about a street name, but it soon escaped her mind.
So I asked her 'if she had her drivers license?', she found it and I looked her address up on my phone.
I decided to ask her 'if she'd want to follow me to her place?' She was relieved and we eventually found her home, she started to offer me something, but I stopped her and handed her my business card and told her 'to call me if she was ever lost again.'